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6 Best Ways to Feel Comfortable for Headshots

Here are the best ways to feel comfortable for headshots.


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Charles Tumiotto Jackson

3 years ago | 6 min read

Headshots are the most essential part of an actor’s resume. The quality of your headshot is often what will make the difference between booking that gig and being passed over. They not only help casting directors determine if you’re right for a role, but they also show your personality to anyone who sees them.

To get the perfect and most organic headshots, you need to feel comfortable and relaxed in front of the camera. Keep reading for the best ways to feel comfortable for headshots!

1. Practice Your Expressions

The flexibility of the stage or the way your face looks on film might be second nature for you, but it’s natural to feel less comfortable in a photo. Angles and expressions may appear different without movement, and some of us are aware that certain things just don’t work with our faces.

It is a good idea to practice your expressions in front of a mirror to get a sense of how they will appear in a photograph. Remember that the mirror is not exactly the same as what appears in a photograph, but it is closer than some of your other options.

Important Reminder: Taking a selfie on your phone does not work well in practice. The camera creates a distorted image by default, so avoid measuring expressions this way.

Take note of all the expressions that you might want for your photos. The majority of headshot sessions include smiling, but if you’re looking for natural and organic headshots, you might also want to know how your “candid” face looks.

The expressions you make here will probably not match what you see in your final pictures, but this is a great way to get to know your face and have more confidence when you meet with your photographer.

2. Wear What Makes You Feel Good

Wear something that you feel comfortable in, something that makes you happy, and something that makes you look attractive. However, that is IF you have the flexibility to do so.

Depending on the agent and the opportunity, there are particular kinds of clothes that are required. Some prefer very simple outfits, plain colors, and no accessories. Others are more flexible.

If you have more of a say when it comes to your attire, choose the one that makes you look and feel good. We all know which outfits make us feel our best. You might have an outfit that enhances your shoulders, accentuates your curves, or makes your eyes glisten.

Choosing the right outfit is essential. If the outfit makes you uncomfortable, you won’t feel as good or as natural in front of the camera. Steer clear of itchy fabrics, too-tight-to-breath clothing, or anything else that brings attention to what you consider a problem area.

It’s okay to bring your “less comfortable” clothes with you for an outfit change. But for your first set of photos, wear the clothes you enjoy wearing so you can get “in the zone” for your photo session.

3. Be Prepared for Your Photo Session

Preparation is vital for a successful photo session. Make sure you’re well-rested and hydrated before having your photo taken. If possible, schedule sessions in the morning when you have more energy, but it is not too hot outside.

Prepare your ensemble the night before, and make sure you arrive on time. You should also be well informed about where your photo shoot will occur, how the set will look, and what to expect before the shoot.

Additionally, one of the most common complaints from actors about headshots is how stiff they look in them, so it helps if you’re loose and limber. Stretching ahead of time is a great way to loosen up and relax your body.

You’ll save yourself a headache and prevent nerves from getting the best of you during your photo session if you follow these tips!

4. Don’t Overthink

When you’re preparing for your photo shoot, it’s very easy to get caught up in your head. As soon as you start overanalyzing the shoot, you’re likely to spiral further into anxiety.

Actors and models all go through this at some point or another, and they almost always end up with results they love. After all, headshots are a great lasting memory that will remind you just how good-looking and amazing you are on any given day.

Also, the process of taking a headshot is much more straightforward than shooting a movie or preparing for a stage performance!

Clearing your head beforehand helps you become more comfortable for actors’ headshots. Do some deep breathing exercises before your photo session to let your mind and body relax.

Think about your photoshoot as a rehearsal for your next role. What do you do before you perform on stage or appear in front of the camera?

Keeping a neutral expression is often the best way to obtain natural photos. Try not to react differently than you normally would to the photographer or your surroundings. No special thought is required.

5. Let Your True Self Shine

On that note, your individuality is what makes you unique, so embrace it. Make sure your ensemble is ready the night before and arrive on time. The joy you bring to the world is sure to shine through in your photographer’s studio.

When you are nervous and tense during a photoshoot, your photos will not reflect your true personality. Your actor’s headshots should represent who you are, so allow yourself to relax and enjoy the moment and be yourself. Your most natural and organic shots will be photos you will be proud to show off.

6. Trust Your Photographer

Following your photographer’s guidance is something you should take seriously, and you should have faith that he or she will get the best photo. If you want to feel comfortable in front of the camera, choosing a photographer you trust is essential.

It doesn’t hurt to ask about their portfolio before the shoot to know what to expect or to discuss their methods. The best photographers will do all the hard work for you.

Unless you’re going for something more specific, you don’t do any posing or angles. It’s the photographer’s job to make you look your best, after all.

A sign of a great headshot photographer: The best headshot photographers will want to learn what sort of work you are looking for and what types of roles you would like to land. Be prepared to answer some semi-personal questions.

Accept Guidance From Your Photographer

Also, try to avoid micromanaging the photo session. Although something feels or seems unusual to you, remember that the photographer is experiencing you through their viewfinder, which means they know what the outcome will be.

Imagine that your headshot photoshoot is a performance that is being recorded. If you heed your photographer’s instructions, you will be surprised at the results.

Nevertheless, if you feel uncomfortable or have a particular idea in mind, you should talk to your photographer. No matter what, your photographer will know what to do in the situation.

Trusting your photographer can put your mind at ease. Most importantly, your level of comfort will reflect in your photos, so if you want great organic headshots, be sure to follow this tip.

What The Right Headshots Can Do for Your Career

A headshot is a defining representation of an actor’s career. This simple image can either make or break an audition for any project, so it’s crucial to create the right impression with your photos. Regardless of how brilliant or talented you are, without the right headshot, the chances of someone noticing your qualities are slim.

Here are some of the reasons why a killer headshot is essential:

  1. By presenting a headshot that showcases your personality and your acting goals, you may have a better chance of landing specific roles. Maybe you’ll even get the role you’ve been dreaming of.
  2. Most auditions now require submissions online. You’ll need hard copies of your headshot, as well as digital copies.
  3. All your marketing materials should feature your headshot, linking your website, social media pages, casting profiles, and acting resume together.
  4. A headshot is an actor’s professional calling card and helps establish your image. Through it, actors can connect with casting directors when appropriate jobs become available.

Ways to Feel Comfortable for Headshots

The quality of your headshot is often what will make the difference between booking that gig and being passed over. If you’re wondering how to take headshots, remember that comfort is key. It can be helpful to know how to relax before your shoot so that you have natural expressions for more organic headshots.

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Charles Tumiotto Jackson

Content Marketer, willing to put the “social” back in Social Media. Forget about “Hacks” and obscure secrets to grow on social media → http://bit.ly/2v7Ks6q


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